Romesh Ranganathan is a comedian and TV presenter whose idea of a nice trip away is two weeks in the Algarve. In this new three-part series for BBC Two he’s travelling way beyond his comfort zone and the world of complimentary breakfast buffets, to some of the most beautiful, but dangerous places on earth. Hosted by locals and fully immersed in the local culture, he gets an eye-opening, and at times heart-stopping, insider’s guide to countries that are big on natural beauty, character and charm.
In this first episode, Romesh gets an insider’s guide to Haiti to find out if his preconceptions about the Caribbean island are right, or if there is more to the country than the “sensational headlines” he’s seen on the news.
Everything Romesh has ever heard about Haiti has been negative. They had dictator who terrorised the island, a 2010 earthquake that crippled the country and then a devastating hurricane. That’s all before President Trump called it something unmentionable.
But are all the bad news reports fair? Does Haiti deserve its reputation? Haiti is in the middle of the Caribbean, surrounded by Cuba and Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. It should be paradise – why doesn’t anyone go there?
To find out, Romesh Ranganathan, comedian and coward, is travelling across the Atlantic to spend a week in the country. This isn’t his typical holiday destination – Romesh’s idea of a perfect holiday is a week in Spain. He avoids “culture” and he rarely leaves the comfort of the hotel swimming pool. In almost every conceivable way he is the wrong person to send, except one – he is honest.
Landing in the Haitian capital Port au Prince, Romesh sets to work getting to grips with a country that – arguably more than any other – has suffered from a bad reputation.
Guided by his host – Peabody award-winning journalist Jeremy Dupain – Rom throws himself into Haitian life. It’s a chaotic journey that will take him from the iron market to vodou ceremonies, from cathedrals destroyed by the earthquake to the slums.
So has the world got it wrong about Haiti? Romesh sets off to find out.
Episode 11 - PLASTIC BOTTLES, Monday 2nd July
Danny, Zoe and the Junkyard Helpers are rummaging to see what junk they can rescue. Danny finds plastic bottles and takes them to Anthony the Model Maker who makes something fierce for the junkyard. Zoe and the Junkyard Helpers create new and useful items from old biscuit tins and there are three ideas for you to make at home using empty milk cartons.
Episode 12 – WARDROBE WOOD, Tuesday 3rd July
Danny, Zoe and the Junkyard Helpers are rummaging around to see what junk they can rescue. Danny finds a piece of wood from an old wardrobe and takes it to Ben the Musical Instrument Maker who makes something noisy. Zoe and the Junkyard Helpers work together to make something out of an old bedside table and there’s a fun idea to make at home using a big cardboard box.
Episode 13 - SILK SCARVES, Wednesday 4th July
Danny and the Junkyard Helpers find a bag of torn silk scarves. Danny takes them to his friend Heather the Feltmaker who has a very practical use for them. Zoe and the Junkyard Helpers transform a box of bike parts into new and useful items and we show you three things to make from used packaging.
Episode 14 - CUPS AND PLATES, Thursday 5th July
Danny, Zoe and the Junkyard Helpers are rummaging in the junkyard and find a box of broken cups and plates. Danny takes some of them to his friend Sarah the Artist who makes something very colourful for the junkyard. Back at the junkyard, Zoe and the Junkyard Helpers give a new lease of life to some of the remaining crockery and we have three fun ideas for you to make using paper plates at home.
Episode 15 - OLD SCHOOL UNIFORM, Friday 6th July
Danny, Zoe and the Junkyard Helpers rummage to see what junk they can rescue. Danny finds a bag of torn school uniforms and shirts and takes it to his friend Elspeth the Rag Rugger who can do amazing things with unwanted material. Zoe and the Junkyard Helpers create fun things with scraps of fabric and ribbon and there are three ideas to make at home using junk.
Lifelong friends and comedic royalty Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer have more in common than just their love of laughter – on a more serious note, they have both suffered complex heart disease.
Paul is an experienced fisherman, Bob, a complete novice. Paul thought a tour of the country’s finest fishing spots might help Bob’s recovery, and along the way maybe they’d learn something about each other.
In this funny and poignant new six-part series, we eavesdrop on their expedition as they re-connect with each other and share their personal experiences of life, while testing the parameters of true friendship.
They also fish, and talk nonsense. A lot.
On soggy riverbanks, they candidly discuss everything from show business to solitude, relationships and romance, while trying to catch some of the most significant species of fish in the country. This is as much an insight into the hearts and minds of two of the UK’s best loved comics as it is about capturing the extreme exhilaration and occasional monotony of one of the most popular past times in the UK.
Episode three - RAINBOW TROUT
In the beautiful Monsal Valley, in Derbyshire, Paul teaches Bob how to fly fish for wild Rainbow Trout. While fishing, they discuss their humble beginnings in Showbusiness and have a good gossip about their contemporaries. Bob cooks Paul his very personal recipe of ‘Tuna Melanie’ on the river bank and it soon transpires his cooking is a lot more successful than his fishing.
The documentary series looking at the nation’s rental housing market from the perspective of both tenant and landlord continues with four more harrowing stories.
After deciding to sell his flat in Lea, East London, in order to purchase a property with his girlfriend, Steve found himself in an extremely stressful situation. When he informed his tenant of his intention to sell the property, the tenant then stopped paying the rent, and communications between both parties turned sour. With a buyer waiting to exchange on the property, Steve had no option other than to hire the services of an eviction specialist. With Steve in danger of not only losing his buyer but, as he has no money coming in, potentially his flat as well, will the tenant finally move on?
In Harrow, Council Officer Mykia investigates a property about which she has received reports of potentially dangerous living conditions. It transpires that the tenants work in the restaurant downstairs and are reluctant for the council to enter the two-storey flat. After gaining entry, Mykia’s initial inspection reveals many hazards, and it appears to be an unlicensed HMO (House of Multiple Occupation). Mykia endeavours to chase the landlord and get guarantees that he will carry out much-needed changes and ensure the property is a safe place to live.
Jim is the owner of a pub in Lincolnshire, and is trying to evict his tenant. His tenant’s company has rented the pub for more than ten years on a ‘gentleman’s handshake’. Initially things went well, but then the rent stopped being paid, despite the pub still being open for business. Jim is now owed a staggering £40k in unpaid rent, and is having to enlist the help of a lawyer and the Landlord Group to evict his tenant. The tenant has dissolved his company, which means he is trespassing, but he is still refusing to leave and has also not stopped operating. Even if he is doubtful that he will recoup the rent he is owed, Jim is desperate to get the pub back so that he can re-let it. However with the tenant putting up a fight, it is not going to be easy.
A 20 tonne Komatsu Digger has been written off after the bank it was sitting on gave way and it plunged into the Thames. It’s Marta and Fluff’s job to get it moved, but manoeuvring 20 tonnes of dead weight is no walk in the park. With the digger at the wrong angle to move onto Marta’s loader, Fluff thinks on his feet, but it’s not all plain sailing as this monster vehicle threatens to come off the tracks.
Meanwhile Rory is dispatched to rescue a Sprinter which is blocking a bus lane. Its precision work as he battles to save its expensive gearbox from breaking down completely. And Jim has to work fast, metres away from a busy live line to get a stranded HGV driver to a place of safety.